Will Schuester, an optimistic high school teacher, works to refuel his own passion by re-inventing McKinley High’s Glee Club. In the process, he challenges a group of social misfits and outcasts to realize their star potential.
Forced to battle his way upwards against McKinley’s unfair and unkind high school caste system, he faces harsh criticism not only from teachers, but from the students too. He is determined to prove them all wrong and make the Glee Club a success.
Glee Episode 1 – Episode Summary
As the show opens, you see a cheerleading squad performing a routine. Then you see their coach, who is timing them asking them if they think what they are doing is hard.
The title appears on the screen and then you see a beat up old blue car driving through the parking lot. Mr Schuester steps out to see Kurt being harassed by a group of football students. He doesn’t do anything about the harassment, but instead tells Finn that he is late handing in his report on his summer activities. Kurt complains that being thrown in the trash will ruin his new collection Mark Jacob’s jacket, so Finn stops them in order to hold the jacket whilst Kurt is tossed into the dumpster.
After the school bell rings, Sandy Ryerson and a student practice the song, “Where Is Love?”. Rachel watches unnoticed through a crack in the door as Sandy begins to touch the stomach of the student.
Coach Tanaka and Mr Schuester are talking about budget cuts when Sue walks in with lattes. Whilst Emma is cleaning, she is bantering with Sue about the cheerleaders going over budget with a nutritionist. Sue leaves the room so Coach tanaka questions Emma about a Singles Mixer, still cleaning the table and complaining that her number two fireman hasn’t called her yet. She speaks about how Sandy Ryerson was fired as she gazes adoringly at Mr Schuester, who asks who will take over the Glee Club.
Mr Schuester then pays a visit to Mr Figgins’ office to take over the Glee Club but the principal is complaining about the costs. In the end, Figgins says at Mr Schuester can have the Glee Club so long as he pays $60 a month for it and they use the costumes they already own. Figgins is very clear in that the Glee Club can have as much money as they want when they are a prestigious and well known as the cheerleading squad, the Cheerio’s.
Whilst laying in bed that night, Mr Schuester worries about how he can hide the money from his wife and get the kids interested in the new Glee Club. Whilst doing so, he comes up with the name “New Directions”.
The next day, after the bell rings, the audition process begins. Mercedes Jones, a heavy set black girl performs “Respect”, followed by Kurt Hummel (the same kid who was beaten up earlier on) sings “Mr. Cellophane”. A punk Asian girl named Tina C and wheelchair bound Artie also sign up. Tina introduces herself with a stutter and performs the song “I Kissed A Girl”.
Rachel is next to approach the board and does “On My Own” during her solo and you see a flashback of her signing up and putting a gold star next to her name. You hear her voice over describing how she turned in Sandy Robinson for touching a student because he got the solo she wanted. She also tells the story of her conception where her two gay dads mixed their spern and used a turkey baster to impregnante a woman. In her locker is a picture of her two dads, one of whom is black and one of whom is white. She tells us that she doesn’t know which is her real, biological father.
Next we see Rachel tap dancing as a child, describing how her father attempted to give her every advantage to become famous. We also see her taping herself singing a song for her MySpace page where she works on uploading a video a day for her fans. However, five of the Cherrios (including Quinn) are seen on the bleachers making unkind comments about her video. Mr Schuester tells her she did a great job and she is keen to start rehearsals.
As rehearsals begin, they perform “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat” in different costumers with Artie and Rachel singing the lead vocals. When Rachel complains that they’re not very good, she is told by Mr Schuester that they need to practice more. Rachel storms out at this and goes to sit on the bleachers out of her costume. She explains to Mr Schuester that she is fed up of being laughed at and feels that everyone hates her. She wants to be a part of something special because it will make her special. Finally, she demands a stronger male lead from Mr Schuester or she will quit the Glee Club.
Mr Schuester is then called to Principal Figgins’ office who is keen to shut down the Glee Club because he wants to use the auditorium for Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Mr Schuester tells Figgins that he can open a bar in the auditorium if the club doesn’t make it to the Regionals. Questioning Mr Schuester’s love of the Glee Club, Figgins agrees the Glee Club can continue to run but only as long as Mr Schuester runs the detentions for free.
The scene changes to Sheets ‘n’ Things where Terri Schuester is trying to teach Howard how to fold a fitted sheet. She is brought a sandwich by Mr Schuester, but she won’t eat it because it has mayonnaise on it. Because she is trying to get pregnant she is avoiding anything that could trigger her diabetes again. When he tells her that he has to run detention now, she complains how hard her life is because she has to make her own dinner when she’s worked just four hours a day, three days a week.
Mr Schuester then bumps into Sandy who is yelling at an employee. Mr Schuester tries to avoid him but fails and they start talking. Sandy is happy that he’s taken over Glee Club and has started to sell Marijuana after being dismissed from the high school. When Sandy is asked who he sells to, you see him behind the bleachers with Coach Tanaka. Mr Schuester declines the offer of a free sample by Sandy insists and gives it to him anyway.
Next Mr Schuester goes to see Sue who is busy polishing her trophies. The scene switches back and forth between Mr Schuester and Sue and another scene where Emma steps on a piece of gum. Sue gloats over Mr Schuester and tells him none of her cheerleaders will join the Glee Club because their members at on the bottom rung of the schools social ladder. As Mr Schuester helps Emma with the gum on her shoes, she tells him that if he can get a couple of the popular kids to join then the others will fall in line. With this in mind, Mr Schuester seeks out Coach Tanaka and asks to talk to the team. Tanaka is hesitant about agreeing, but does so on the condition that Mr Schuester puts in a good word with Emma on his belhalf.
Mr Schuester goes into the Locker Room to talk to the team and there is no interest at all – they fill in fake and derogatory names on the sign up sheet. He is starting to lose heart but hears Finn singing in the shower and realizes that he is doing this to show the kids at the school that there’s a gift inside them they don’t know they have. Then, in what he later describes as “the blackest moment in his life” he plants his pot in Finn’s locker who denies it is his. Mr Schuester threatens Finn that he will be kicked out of school or end up behind bars, and that he expected more from him.
Fiinn is someone who has always pushed himself and expected the best from himself. We see a flashback to his childhood where his father died and his mother raised him on her own. We see him playing the drums and ordering Emerald Dreams, the happiest time of his life. He starts to sing with Darren, a man his mother dates, and Finn is told that he has a gift and should keep with it. Darren though runs off with a young blonde woman, which hits Finn’s mom pretty hard. Back at the school, Mr Schuester gives Finn an ultimatum, six weeks detention and a black mark on his permanent record or join the Glee Club and perform.
Then we see Finn singing “You’re The One That I Want” with the Glee Club, who react strongly to his presence. Rachel pushes across the stage to get to Finn and Mercedes is very unhappy about her relegation to background singer. However, Kurt and Mr Schuester convince her this is better than before and will make the Glee Club stronger.
Back at home with his wife, Mr Schuester mentions he wants to take the Glee Club on a field trip and his wife isn’t happy about it. She complains about their lack of money and ignores his comments about her wasting money at Pottery Barn. She had tried to push him into becoming an accountant, but he had followed his passion of teaching.
Back at school, Mr Schuester tries to get volunteers for the field trip and Emma signs up, under the watchful eye of Coach Tanaka. On the football field, Pick hears Coach Tanaka yelling at Finn to choose between singing and playing footbal. When questioned by Puck, Finn lies and says he is taking care of his mother. When they talk at Carmel High School, Rachel mentions to Finn that everyone things they’ll get together, but Finn is dating Quinn, the president of the celibacy club. Over a shared snack, Mr Schuester and Emma discuss his marital problems.
Back in the auditorium, Mr Schuester tells the Glee Club that they are now facing their competition, but they shouldn’t be hard to beat. Coming out with almost 30 members, the Glee Club stuns the crowd with their performance of “Rehab” with some excellent dance moves.
Shortly after we see Finn being confronted by the football team for lying about his membership of the Glee Club and he gets pelted with green paint from paintball guns.
Mr Schuester gets home and is congratulated by his wife, who has a surprise for him … she tells him she is pregnant. He is overjoyed and close to tears and you see him telling the Glee Club he is leaving. The club have very different reactions, with some saying they will work harder and Finn asking if he’s allowed to quit the Glee Club now. Mr Schuester tells them he enjoys teaching them but tells them he has to do this for his family, and leaves them in the auditorium.
After his emotional farewell, he speaks with Emma who asks if he will come and see her tomorrow at the career center because she is need of some guidance. We see Rachel and Finn talking by Finn’s locker and Quinn asking what they are up to. Rachel lies to her, telling her that they are science partners. To welcome Finn back to the football team, his team mates have locked Artie in a port-a-pottie and the want to flip it over.
Finn releases Artie and when Puck questions why he has rescued a loser, Finn tells them they are all losers. He informs Puck that neither group can win without him and Finn returns to the Glee Club practice. As he leaves, he sees Darren on the football field as “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey plays in the background.
Rachel is yelling at the Glee Club in the auditorium about their choreography. Finn apologizes for his absence and says he wants to change. He sends Arty to get the Jazz band, Mercedes to the costumes, Rachel for choreography and he’ll pick the music.
The scene cuts to Emm and Mr Schuester as she plays him the 1993 winning performance at the Nationals in Show Choir. He says it was the best moment in his life and the only other time he was that happy was when Teri got pregnant. Emma then queries what type of person he is if he’s telling his child to get a job for money instead of following his passion and doing something that he loves.
As he walks down the hallway out of the school he can faintly hear the music to “Don’t Stop Believing”. In the auditorium, the Glee Club are all dressed in matching red shirts singing this hit anthem. Arty is playing the guiar with the rest of the band whilst Rachel and Finn sing to each other. Mr Schuester sits in the audience watching as does Puck lurking in the back of the auditorium. As Puck leaves, we see Sue, Finn and another cheerleader watch him go from above. Mr Schuester walks up to the Glee Club and tells him they’d get a nine for that performance. He tells Rachel and Finn he is going to stay on with the Glee Club and the episode ends with him telling the club to take it from the top.